My college geography professor in one of my few elective courses emphasized the fact that only people, nothing else, make a nation great. Very rare exceptions are areas where survival itself, due to severe inclement weather exists, like northern Greenland and the farthest reaches of the Sahara Desert.
Japan, a nation with virtually no natural resources, and with only 14% of its land that is tillable, is the largest auto maker in the world. It is also a world giant among other industrial countries such as in electronics and needed machines, both large and small. They import their raw materials from nearly half a world away, such as coal and iron ore from Australia and Indonesia, oil from the Middle East and timber from the U. S. and Canada.
In contrast, the Congo has immense natural resources, and for the most part have barely, if any, emerged from the Stone Age. Cannibalism in the more inaccessible areas is still suspect.
East Germany at the time of its reinstatement as a part of the whole German Nation was the jewel of all the old Soviet satellites and the Soviet Union itself. It had 17% unemployment to West Germany’s 2%. After several years of reunification, it had still 22% unemployment. This was indicative of the state’s policy of stifling free enterprise & initiative by legislating a cradle-to-grave mentality. Russia, reportedly, is losing one million people a year.
About 25 years ago, a very small school in the Texas Panhandle, West Mobeetie, graduated four students. Their grades and scholastic abilities were so good that they all got scholarships to several Ivy League schools. They had no fancy school buildings or ‘plant.’ All they had was one teacher who was well paid by the local rancher parents, to teach the best she could.
Teaching tenure alone is deadly. It’s like putting a frog in a pot of water and slowly heating the water until the frog is dead, and he not realizing what is happening or when death occurs.
Constantly improving the scholastic ability of the populace is absolutely essential to the healthy condition of the nation along with the respective individual’s strong initiative drives.